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Elevating Disability Employment Awareness Month By Celebrating Disability Employment Success

Partners Health Plan members are sharing their employment journey stories to elevate Disability Employment Awareness Month.  These stories describe the diverse experiences of people with disabilities and the employers that are benefiting from the dedication these talented individuals bring to their professional roles.

Did you know that one in four individuals in the U.S. have some type of disability, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)? Did you know the employment rate for a New Yorker with a disability (age 18 – 64) is 31.2% compared to 72% for a person without a disability, resulting in a gap of 40.8% according to New York State (click here). The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected many who have already faced significant barriers to employment, compounding their economic hardships.

We must use our voices and advocate for creating more accessible and inclusive workplaces by becoming informed on the value of hiring people with disabilities.

 A person with a disability recently summed it up the best by stating, “my disabilities do not define me.  My abilities do.”

Please join us in widening the lens by elevating awareness on what needs to be done to remove barriers in the workplace, so individuals who have a disability have the opportunity to access meaningful and well-paying jobs.  Do you know an organization that is moving the dial on disability employment by removing barriers?


Ackeem’s Employment Story

Partners Health Plan Member, Ackeem, has been employed by the New York City Police Department for five years in downtown Manhattan.  The best part of his job, he stated, “is working with New York’s finest and I enjoy working for the Chief of Community of Affairs Bureaus of the New York City Police Department.”  As the department’s Director of Community Affairs Bureau, he has an important role to fill and his boss motivates him to stay focused and help the community in every possible way he can.   His motto for life is inspiring, “Stay focused and be strong.  Always have a good attitude.”


PLEASE SHARE THESE REAL LIFE STORIES OF WORKERS WITH DISABILITIES, AND WE’D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR STORY! 

Submit a disability employment success story!

  • Please note: Your first name and email address are required for security purposes only and will not be used in your submission or to contact you.
  • Please note: By submitting your story you are providing your media consent. All stories will be shared anonymously and any names or other identifying information will be edited prior to it being shared.

Rise Up Together To Address The DSP Workforce Crisis

BJ Stasio, a disability rights advocate from Western NY launched a letter-writing campaign yesterday, 10.11, to elevate awareness on the direct support professional (DSP) workforce crisis.

Watch BJ’s powerful story and click the button below to learn more about how you can tell your personal story and ask Governor Kathy Hochul to RISE UP for a living wage for DSPs so they may continue to help individuals with I/DD receive the supports and services they need to live a quality life.

LEARN MORE AND ADVOCATE TODAY

PHP Members and families recently shared short stories about how a DSP has impacted or improved their quality of life or that of a loved one during DSP Appreciation week.  Read their stories!

October 2021 Advocacy and Awareness Campaigns

Each month, Partners Health Plan advances its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), as well as promote and elevate awareness of issues that impact members, families, and employees in the communities we serve.  Here are the awareness campaigns for October:

 

Celebrate Care Managers!

Members and Families are at the Center of Everything We Do… Care Managers are the heart and soul of Partners Health Plan by helping individuals live their best life! Please join us during Care Management Week to recognize their dedication in coordinating care for all of the vulnerable individuals enrolled in Partners Health Plan.

You are invited to recognize Care Managers by sending a “Thank You” message or share a story of how they are making an impact by advocating and helping to coordinate critical supports and services so that you or a loved one may live a quality life. Submit your message or story HERE!

National Disability Employment
Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Please join us in elevating awareness on the employment issues facing individuals with disabilities, advocating for their rights in the workplace, and celebrating their enormous contributions to our economy.

LEARN MORE about how a Partners Health Plan member’s employment has increased his confidence and independence.

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month! You are invited to join us in celebrating and recognizing the abilities and accomplishments of individuals born with Down Syndrome and advocating for inclusion throughout the communities where we live, work, and play. 

World Habitat Day

The United Nations (UN) designated the first Monday in October of every year as World Habitat Day (WHD). It is designed to assess the communities where we live and the basic right of adequate shelter for all. WHD reminds us of our collective power and responsibility to shape the future of our habitats for a better tomorrow. This year’s theme is “Accelerating urban action for a carbon-free world.”

LEARN MORE about how Partners Health Plan Care Managers have helped the individuals they support in securing safe and appropriate housing. 

World Cerebral Palsy Day

October 6 is World Cerebral Palsy (CP) Day. Global communities are united in supporting and elevating awareness on those living with CP and to identify solutions for a more accessible future.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Observed annually, the “pink” campaign is in place to elevate awareness and educate on the signs and symptoms of the disease and to offer support to survivors.

Celebrate Care Managers!

Members and Families are at the center of everything we do… Care Managers are the heart and soul of Partners Health Plan by helping individuals live their best life. Please join us during Care Management Week to recognize their dedication in coordinating care for PHP members. 

You are invited to recognize Care Managers by sending a “Thank You” message or share a story of how they are making an impact by advocating and helping to coordinate critical supports and services so that you or a loved one may live a quality life.

 

Share Your “Thank You” Message or Care Manager Story
  • Please note: Your first name and email address are required for security purposes only and will not be used in your submission or to contact you.
  • Please note: By submitting your story you are providing your media consent. All stories will be shared anonymously and any names or other identifying information will be edited prior to it being shared.
 

Partners Health Plan Presents with StationMD at MHPA 2021

Partners Health Plan (PHP) CEO, Kerry Delaney and StationMD Chief Strategy Officer, Dr. Maulik Trivedi, co-presented at the Medicaid Health Plans (MHPA) of America 2021 Conference on Thursday, September 23.

They presented data findings from the year-long demonstration project designed to improve access to quality medical care for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD), while also significantly reducing Medicaid expenses through telehealth services.

For more information on the session and the full #MHPA2021 agenda, please visit:

https://medicaidconference.com/

 

Partners Health Plan Presents at Whole Person Care Summit

Partners Health Plan (PHP) Chief of Member Relations & Advocacy, Karleen Haines, presented at the Whole Person Care Summit on September 22. The summit showcased how today’s leading health plans are harnessing technological innovations and accessing and sharing data with providers, plan members, the community and across the enterprise to better understand and communicate with their populations, and support social determinants of health.

PHP’s presentation reviewed how health plans can improve and maintain member engagement for members with special needs. The audience will learn more about PHP’s innovative programs uniquely designed to support adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Other innovations include the development of participant/parent/ advocate and advisory group engagement initiatives, access to virtual and interactive education sessions, and more.

Read more about PHP’s other recent presentations: 

Partners Health Plan Presents with StationMD at MHPA 2021

PHP Presents “Taking Charge of Your Health” at Self–Advocacy Association of NY State’s (SANYS) Long Island Regional Conference  

Partners Health Plan Voted Best Presentation at NYSTEC Conference on Telehealth 

Direct Support Professionals Appreciation 2021

Direct Support Professionals (DSP) are the heart of the country’s care economy and they work tirelessly and compassionately to help vulnerable individuals live a quality life. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been heroes keeping our loved ones safe!

PHP Members, families and advocates helped Partners Health Plan recognize Direct Support Professionals during this year’s DSP Recognition Week (September 12 -18) by sharing short stories about how a DSP has impacted or improved their quality of life or that of a loved one. Read their stories below!

It is a pleasure to write on behalf of my wonderful, caring and creative DSPs – Christine and Lauren. Where does one begin to express their sincere gratitude for their compassion, resilience and jovial sense of humor to make certain that I remain on board with school work as well as socialization and interaction. So many people have suffered throughout this pandemic. At times I felt isolated and yet they were always available to fill my day with creativity and activity. This was done through virtual tours, planning of upcoming recipes we would create, word puzzles, Spanish lessons and homework, watching movies, daily discussions as to what we would do post-pandemic. I could not ask for better DSPs because they are the best! Thank you Christine and Lauren! 

A PHP Member

This year has been very overwhelming for my family. We lost both parents within a month. I would like to say thank you PHP for the professionals that work there. Amy has indeed been blessing to our family. 

 Family Member of a PHP Member

I am the guardian of a PHP member. He is a resident In an AHRC residence facility. The staff in this residence have shown themselves to be extraordinary caring people, not only treating the residents as if they were their own family members ,but, also treating the residents family and guardians as if they were their own family members… They deserve long and loud applause for their dedication.! I also have had many dealings with the staff at PHP, concerning my PHP member health issues. These folks have also shown themselves to be dedicated ,extraordinary caring people. They also deserve long and loud applause for their dedication!

Guardian of a PHP Member

Lamar and Toni work in for HeartShare Human Services Residential Programs. Over the past two years, they have supported a PHP member who had struggled with significant health and behavioral challenges that often placed himself and others in danger. Together, Lamar and Toni create a safe and autonomous home where our member has learned the importance of engaging in healthy lifestyle choices. Daily, they offer creative approaches to tasks that encourage our member to explore his interests and expand his knowledge. Their commitment to him has made all the difference in his commitment to himself! 

A Provider Agency Employee

The Direct Support Staff’s I would like to recognize are Diana, Cassandra and Jossette of Kamish Lifespire IRA also Jillian and all Lifespire Manhattan South Comprehensive Service Center Staff. 

PHP Member

Our Direct Service Providers are extended family members who devote immeasurable time, patience, caring and support to our four gentlemen. They create a family atmosphere in their home, providing a warm, welcoming environment for the men to live and flourish. Our staff maintains a nurturing home, wherein the participants are happy, well cared for, loved and taken care of with feelings. It is a clean, safe, warm home. Whenever you visit it is friendly, nicely decorated and comfortable. We are most fortunate to have our Direct Service Providers. 

PHP Member

I Want to Give a DSP Day to My Care Team Josephine and Hannah. Thank you For helping me Spread my wings. 

PHP Member

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO SHARE HOW A DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL HAS IMPACTED OR IMPROVED YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE OR THAT OF A LOVED ONE. 

September 2021 Advocacy and Awareness Campaigns

Each month, Partners Health Plan advances its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), as well as promote and elevate awareness of issues that impact members, families, and employees in the communities we serve.  Here are the awareness campaigns for September:

 

Health Aging

September is Healthy Aging Month. Join us this month in elevating awareness on the importance of healthy habits for healthy aging such as maintaining a balanced diet and going to regular check-ups and annual physicals. More healthy-aging habits can be found HERE through the US Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Visit Partners Health Plan’s Member Health Library for helpful health-related resources for members of all ages.

DSP Appreciation

September 12-18 is Direct Support Professionals Appreciation Week. Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are the heart of the country’s care economy and they work tirelessly and compassionately to help vulnerable individuals live a quality life. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been heroes in keeping our loved ones safe!

You are invited to join Partners Health Plan in celebrating Direct Support Professionals (DSP) by recognizing a DSP during DSP Recognition Week.  Share a short story of how a DSP has impacted or improved your quality of life, or that of a loved one or friend. Your story will be featured in PHP’s DSP Week celebratory events and communications. Share your story HERE!

Suicide Prevention

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and September 10th marks World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), which give an opportunity for people across the globe to elevate awareness on suicide and suicide prevention.Visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) for more suicide prevention information and how you can get involved.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a free, 24/7 confidential support system for anyone who is in suicidal crisis, emotional distress, or in need of emotional support:1-800-273-TALK (82555).

Hispanic Heritage

Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15, and is a time to honor and appreciate the contributions of Hispanic and Latinx Americans and to celebrate their rich cultural history.  

On 9.16.20, ABC Eyewitness News highlighted how Hispanic healthcare heroes have been essential to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, the epicenter of the U.S. Watch the video HERE!

Closing of Willowbrook

September 17 marks the 34th anniversary of the closing of Willowbrook State School on Staten Island. The closing in 1987 was a result of years of public advocacy over the neglect and abuse of individuals with developmental disabilities that resided at the school.  These were first exposed in 1972, followed by subsequent lawsuits by the residents and their families.  

The deplorable conditions and treatment of the Willowbrook residents were a catalyst for change that have resulted in new services, rights and protections for individuals with disabilities.  Learn more about the historic closing of Willowbrook and access guidance materials for Willowbrook class members at www.opwdd.ny.gov/willowbrook.

Disability Voter Registration Week

September 13-20 is National Disability Voter Registration Week. Many people with disabilities and older adults experience barriers to exercising their right to vote and casting a ballot. This annual campaign is in place to increase political power and independence among individuals with disabilities by sharing resources and helping individuals register to vote.  

Did you know that only 17.7 million of the over 38 million eligible voters with disabilities participated in the 2020 elections? National Disability Voter Registration Week (NDVRW) is a national, nonpartisan campaign to register and educate voters with disabilities . NDVRW is coordinated by the American Association of People with Disabilities’ (AAPD) REV UP Voting Campaign. REV UP stands for Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power!  LEARN MORE from AAPD about their programs, upcoming events, how you can get involved!

Join Partners Health Plan in Celebrating Direct Support Professionals

Direct Support Professionals (DSP) are the heart of the country’s care economy and they work tirelessly and compassionately to help vulnerable individuals live a quality life. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been heroes keeping our loved ones safe!

Join Partners Health Plan in celebrating Direct Support Professionals (DSP) by recognizing a DSP during DSP Recognition Week (9.12 – 9.18).  Share a short story of how a DSP has impacted or improved your quality of life (or a loved one).  Your story will be featured in PHP’s DSP Week celebratory events and communications.

Share Your DSP Appreciation Story
  • Please note: Your first name and email address are required for security purposes only and will not be used in your submission or to contact you.
  • Please note: By submitting your story you are providing your media consent. All stories will be shared anonymously and any names or other identifying information will be edited prior to it being shared.

Partners Health Plan and its sister agency, Care Design NY, donate NYSTEC presentation award to the Center for Disability Services

Scott Doolan, RN BSN, MBA, Director of Healthcare Programs at Partners Health Plan presented at the at NYSTEC Conference on Telehealth.  His presentation was selected by an audience poll for “favorite innovation” and was awarded $2,500 by NYSTEC to donate to charity.  Partners Health Plan and its sister agency, Care Design NY, chose to donate it to the Center for Disability Services in the Capital Region for its enormous support in in sponsoring specialized COVID-19 vaccine clinics for members with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities (I/DD).  The donation was presented on July 14 during a gathering of the winning innovators and organizations receiving donations.  Thank you, NYSTEC, for this opportunity and also the, Center for Disability Services, for all that you do for the I/DD community!

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